What happened to the Italian divisions after 1943 surrender?

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Francis E. Neri
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What happened to the Italian divisions after 1943 surrender?

Post by Francis E. Neri » 02 Jul 2006 03:46

What happened to the Italian army divisions all over Europe after its 1943 capitulation? I read some skirmishes with the Germans at Rome, their resistance at Corsica (Sardinia too?) and the well known annhilation of the Acqui division (is it true none of the division survived to tell the tale it's demise). I am very curious, I read they still have a formidable strength of 1,000,000 men all over Europe.

Did some of them joined the Partisans? This is one historical question I am unable answer by research. Thanks!

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Davide Pastore
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Re: What happened to the Italian divisions after 1943 surren

Post by Davide Pastore » 02 Jul 2006 05:54

Francis E. Neri wrote:Did some of them joined the Partisans?
Many units operating in Yugoslavia did so. One has to wonder what were the mutual feelings between Italian and Yugoslavians fighting side to side after two years of bitter "dirty" war.

Of the rest, the units in France, Northern Italy and Greece were all disarmed by Germans (some personnel ended in the R.S.I. army), and the ones in Southern Italy were more or less disbanded by the Allies (something was reraised in 1944-45, but the Allies were never very happy with the idea).

Davide

Brad Hunter
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Post by Brad Hunter » 02 Jul 2006 06:32

The Germans formed several RSI divisions, as well as an SS division. The Royalists formed several division "groups" that fought for the allies, equipped with Italian gear.

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Lupo Solitario
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Post by Lupo Solitario » 02 Jul 2006 08:02

there's a literature on it (to tell: the Italian Army history series "Resistance of italian military abroad" is seven books long IIRC) but it's in italian.

Try a resume a bit

Corsica: italian troops fought hardly aganinst germans aside frenchmen from september 8 to October 4, 1943 when german troops abandoned island
Sardinia: german troops abandoned island without fightings
Southern Italy: Italian troops ceased combat waiting for allied decisions.

Italian forces in those three sectors counted more or less on 400000 men which were largely employed by allies in successive years

North-central Italy: after some isolate combat, italian army disbanded and everyone for his own. In many cases soldiers crallied after good leaders which formed the first resistance groups. Military formed about the 50% of italian resistance usually forming not-polically-linked groups, others entered or joined politically oriented forces.
Opposite others formed volunteer formation to fight aside germans. In first months of 1944, the newly formed RSI started to organize a regular army by draft.

Continental france: italian forces were fastly crushed by germans and largely jailed in Germany or incorporated in Whermacht. Few joined french resistance

Balkans: it's difficult try to tell how the italian army in balkans divided after armistice. About 600000 were jailed and sent in Germany. About 100000 sided with Germans in little units or directly in Whermacht. A number difficult to estimate joined resistance. Some great bulk of forces joined the resistance, I can remember divisions Taurinense and Venezia in Montenegro, divisions Arezzo e Firenze in Albania and division Pinerolo in Thessalia.

Greek Island: it's usually reminded the slaughter of division Acqui at Cefalonia and Corfù. Italian forces in Egean were crushed by german between september and november 1943, last to give up the garrison of Leros island. Part of italian forces reached neutral Turkish shores before falling in german hands

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Francis E. Neri
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Post by Francis E. Neri » 02 Jul 2006 08:14

Excellent information Lupo, thanks. Do you have any information if any member of the Acqui division survived the slaughter?

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G. Trifkovic
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Post by G. Trifkovic » 02 Jul 2006 13:51

On 12th of September General Emilio Becuzzi surrendered the Split garrison, consisting of "Bergamo" division, some 12-13,000 men. The next day, some 350 Italian soldiers who wanted to join the NOVJ were formed in the "Garibaldi" battalion.

http://arhiv.slobodnadalmacija.hr/inc/p ... jton01.asp

Practically whole division "Venezia" and parts of "Taurinense" joined the NOVJ in Montenegro, forming the division "Garibaldi" which stayed in Yugoslavia until early 1945, when it's member were shipped back to Italy.

On 15th of September in Livno,Herzegovina, battalion "Matteotti" of NOVJ was formed.

Parts of "Marche" under gen. Amico fought the Germans in Dubrovnik.

http://147.91.230.48/ifdt/izdanja/casop ... 1/document

(I heartily reccomend the article above-unfortunately only in Serbian)

Cheers,

Gaius

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Lupo Solitario
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Post by Lupo Solitario » 02 Jul 2006 20:03

Francis E. Neri wrote:Excellent information Lupo, thanks. Do you have any information if any member of the Acqui division survived the slaughter?
I know one :D

Massimo
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Post by Massimo » 03 Jul 2006 00:23

My Grandfather was the guy who aimed and dropped bombs on a Bomber In the Italian Airforce During WW2 and in 1943 joined the Partisans. Ill ask himr for some Info he may know some things about Italian divisions after the surrender.

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G. Trifkovic
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Post by G. Trifkovic » 03 Jul 2006 22:39

This looks like a VERY informative site on Italians in NOVJ-unfortunately only in Italian :(

http://www.giuseppemarchese.it/articoli ... rt153.html

Cheers,

Gaius

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Re:

Post by Grofmontecristo » 19 Sep 2011 22:11

Lupo Solitario wrote:there's a literature on it (to tell: the Italian Army history series "Resistance of italian military abroad" is seven books long IIRC) but it's in italian.

Try a resume a bit

Corsica: italian troops fought hardly aganinst germans aside frenchmen from september 8 to October 4, 1943 when german troops abandoned island
Sardinia: german troops abandoned island without fightings
Southern Italy: Italian troops ceased combat waiting for allied decisions.

Italian forces in those three sectors counted more or less on 400000 men which were largely employed by allies in successive years

North-central Italy: after some isolate combat, italian army disbanded and everyone for his own. In many cases soldiers crallied after good leaders which formed the first resistance groups. Military formed about the 50% of italian resistance usually forming not-polically-linked groups, others entered or joined politically oriented forces.
Opposite others formed volunteer formation to fight aside germans. In first months of 1944, the newly formed RSI started to organize a regular army by draft.

Continental france: italian forces were fastly crushed by germans and largely jailed in Germany or incorporated in Wehrmacht. Few joined french resistance

Balkans: it's difficult try to tell how the italian army in balkans divided after armistice. About 600000 were jailed and sent in Germany. About 100000 sided with Germans in little units or directly in Wehrmacht. A number difficult to estimate joined resistance. Some great bulk of forces joined the resistance, I can remember divisions Taurinense and Venezia in Montenegro, divisions Arezzo e Firenze in Albania and division Pinerolo in Thessalia.

Greek Island: it's usually reminded the slaughter of division Acqui at Cefalonia and Corfù. Italian forces in Egean were crushed by german between september and november 1943, last to give up the garrison of Leros island. Part of italian forces reached neutral Turkish shores before falling in german hands
Some 50.000 joined the jugoslav partisans, the carabinieri od the Bergamo division in Spalato/Split formed the battalion "Garibaldi" ( William Deakin was in Split at that time, and describes everything in his book). A month later was formed the "Matteotti" battalion from soldiers that managed to avoid capture in Dalmatia and Bosnia. At he same time, two divisions (Taurinense and Venezia) joined forces with the II Core of the partisan Army. At the begining of december the two divisions were united into a single division, "The italian partisan division" Garibaldi". After the liberation of Belgrade, the partisan forces liberated many italian POW's, with them and the 2 battalion (Garibaldi & Matteotti) was formed another unit, the brigade "Italia". In total some 20. 000 italians died fighting on the side of the yugoslav partisans.
If somebody need more information just ask.
greetings

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